Skip to content
Kinesiology student running tests in a pediatric research center

Kinesiology Master’s Programs

We teach students to forge connections between theoretical considerations and potential solutions to a wide variety of real-world challenges. We strive for excellence in research, teaching, practice, and service. Our goal is to provide superior and innovative programs of study that will enable our students to become effective and imaginative professionals, scholars, and citizens.

Concentrations Offered

The biomechanics concentration is dedicated to promoting and integrating scientific research and education on the health benefits of exercise. Through a program of interdisciplinary graduate study, using both experimental and epidemiological methods, students gain a greater understanding of the role of exercise in the prevention of various cardiovascular, metabolic, and musculoskeletal disorders. In addition to primary faculty members, adjunct faculty members provide expertise in the areas of sports medicine, cardiac rehabilitation, epidemiology, orthopedics, and exercise psychology.

The biomechanics concentration focuses on the mechanisms, prevention, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries. The primary emphasis is on biomechanical considerations related to exercise and rehabilitation. Master’s students may elect to do a 6-credit thesis, which is recommended for those intending to pursue a doctorate in the field. Graduate students work with biomechanics faculty to pursue research in the areas of biomechanics of lower extremity function, footwear biomechanics, and the biomechanics of injury mechanisms and injury prevention.

Visit the Graduate Catalog to see the curriculum and course descriptions. Check out our Faculty and Staff page for more information about the kinesiology faculty.

We usually admit ten to fifteen students each year. Admissions decisions are made on a number of criteria, as outlined below:

  • Applicants must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in their undergraduate work to be considered (or a 3.0 or better in the senior year).
  • We then look at the applicant’s writing ability and answers to the supplemental application questions (career plan and research interests, for example) in considering students who might be a good fit for our program.
  • Ratings forms/letters of recommendation from faculty who can speak to the applicant’s potential for graduate work are also given serious consideration.
  • Master’s candidates are not required to take the GRE, but scores will be considered if submitted.

Additionally, all applicants need to have the required prerequisite courses before starting the program. Applicants may be admitted conditionally if missing a few courses as long as all are complete before the entering semester. Submission of official transcripts for the missing courses to the department will be required if this is the case. Prerequisite courses include one (1) semester each of:

  • general physics
  • general chemistry
  • biomechanics
  • human anatomy
  • exercise physiology
  • calculus


The exercise physiology concentration is dedicated to promoting and integrating scientific research and education on the health benefits of exercise. Through a program of interdisciplinary graduate study, using both experimental and epidemiological methods, students gain a greater understanding of the role of exercise in the prevention of various cardiovascular, metabolic, and musculoskeletal disorders. In addition to primary faculty members, adjunct faculty members provide expertise in the areas of sports medicine, cardiac rehabilitation, epidemiology, orthopedics, and exercise psychology.

The exercise physiology concentration involves the study of the acute and chronic effects of exercise on the human body. Students may elect to do internships in cardiac rehabilitation at several area hospitals, and are encouraged to take the ACSM Exercise Specialist® exam upon graduation. Graduate students collaborate with exercise physiology faculty members to perform research in the areas of physical activity assessment, metabolism, the health benefits of exercise, body composition assessment, and pediatric obesity.

Visit the Graduate Catalog to see the curriculum and course descriptions. Check out our Faculty and Staff page for more information about the kinesiology faculty.

We usually admit ten to fifteen students each year. Admissions decisions are made on a number of criteria, as outlined below:

  • Applicants must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in their undergraduate work to be considered (or a 3.0 or better in the senior year).
  • We then look at the applicant’s writing ability and answers to the supplemental application questions (career plan and research interests, for example) in considering students who might be a good fit for our program.
  • Ratings forms/letters of recommendation from faculty who can speak to the applicant’s potential for graduate work are also given serious consideration.
  • Master’s candidates in the exercise physiology concentration are required to submit GRE scores. On the GRE, we look for an analytical writing score of 4.0 or higher. While there is no minimum score on the verbal and quantitative portions, scoring at or above the fiftieth percentile is considered strong.

Additionally, all applicants need to have the required prerequisite courses before starting the program. Applicants may be admitted conditionally if missing a few courses as long as all are complete before the entering semester. Submission of official transcripts for the missing courses to the department will be required if this is the case. Prerequisite courses include:

  • Two (2) semesters of general chemistry
  • One (1) semester each of:
    • human anatomy or biomechanics or kinesiology
    • human physiology
    • statistics or calculus


The sport psychology and motor behavior (SPMB) concentration derives its primary intellectual identity from the disciplines of Kinesiology, Sport Science, and Psychology. The program draws upon perspectives from sport and exercise psychology, motor learning and control, and other specialized forms of inquiry in critically examining behavior and performance at all levels of competitive sport and other organized movement activities.

The SPMB concentration focuses on performance enhancement with sport and physical activity participants (including imagery, goal-setting, self-talk, and focusing attention) as well as social/ psychological factors, such as gender/race/class identity, moral and ethical development, leadership, cohesion, aggression, team-building, and the use of ergogenic aids in sport, that influence participants’ sport and physical activity experiences. Graduate students have the opportunity to explore their own research interests as well as to collaborate with faculty members on some of their research.

Visit the Graduate Catalog to see the curriculum and course descriptions. Check out our Faculty and Staff page for more information about the kinesiology faculty.

Each year we admit twenty to twenty-five master’s students from a pool of seventy-five to 100 applicants. There are no prerequisite courses for this concentration. Admissions decisions are based on a number of criteria:

  • Applicants must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in their undergraduate work to be considered for degree admission (or a 3.0 or better in the senior year).
  • Writing ability and answers to the supplemental application questions are given serious consideration in the admissions process.
  • Ratings forms/letters of recommendation from faculty who can speak to the applicant’s potential for graduate work are also given serious consideration.
  • Applicants are not required to submit GRE scores.

How to Apply

You must complete your application online through the university’s Graduate Admissions website. There is a $60 application fee for new applicants and a $30 fee for students who were previously enrolled as graduate students at UT. The following materials are required as part of the online application:


Unofficial academic transcripts from every undergraduate institution you have attended are required. International students should submit official or attested university records with certified translations if the records are not in English, along with degree confirmation.

Scores are required only for the exercise physiology concentration. You must have taken the GRE within five years of application data.

GRE scores are NOT required for biomechanics or sport psychology and motor behavior.

As part of the online application, these questions are department specific and will be reviewed carefully by the admissions committees. The departmental assistantship application is included in this section. If you want to be considered for a teaching assistantship in our Physical Education Activity Program (PEAP), you must answer all questions. If you do not want to be considered for our departmental assistantships, you can skip these questions. PLEASE NOTE: completion of these questions does NOT guarantee an assistantship, as only about 10 percent of master’s students will receive an assistantship from our department. See the “Costs & Funding” section below for more information.

A current resume is required as part of the application process.

Three ratings forms may be submitted with or without letters of recommendation. The process of these forms being sent to and submitted by your recommenders is completed entirely online. Two forms should be completed by academic references, and the third can be completed by a professional reference. All three ratings forms and/or letters of recommendation MUST be received before your application will be considered complete and reviewed by the admissions committee.

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take and pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Official scores must be received directly from the appropriate testing service. UT’s score reporting code for TOEFL is 1843. The score must not be older than two years from the requested date of entry. Applicants who have a degree from an accredited US institution in the past two years are exempt from the TOEFL or IELTS requirement.

Before an I-20/DS-2019 can be issued for an admitted student, documented availability of sufficient funds for the first twelve months of studies must be submitted to the Center for International Education (CIE). Please visit the CIE website for the most current estimate of expenses.

Additional Information

For priority consideration, as well as consideration for the available departmental assistantships, all materials should be received by February 1 (for fall admission).

The majority of admissions decisions are made from mid-February to the end of April. Decisions on our limited departmental assistantships may be made at this time or during the next few months.

Only complete applications files will be considered. It is your responsibility to confirm that all your materials have been received. You should check your status with both the Graduate Admissions Office and International Admissions Office, as well as the department’s admissions coordinator. Your status with the Graduate Admissions Office does not necessarily reflect your status with the department.

Applicants applying late can be considered for admission if there are still openings available.

The Graduate School’s admissions deadlines differ from our department deadline. Applicants should adhere to our February 1 deadline and submit all materials by then.

  • Please note that we can only admit a certain number of students, so late applications may not even be considered.
  • International applicants for fall semester should complete the university/Graduate School admissions process several months prior to the February 1 deadline to allow adequate time for the application to be forwarded to the department for consideration. We recommend international application files to be complete by December 31. You are also encouraged to contact the Center for International Education for additional information.

The current tuition and fees can be viewed on the university’s One Stop website.

Some graduate assistantships are offered by academic departments and administrative offices at the university. An assistantship is a financial reward to a graduate student for part-time work in teaching, administration, or research while pursuing an advanced degree. Appointments are normally on a one-fourth to one-half time basis, usually requiring ten to twenty hours of service per week. The annual stipend is payable in either nine or twelve monthly installments. In addition to the stipend, graduate teaching assistants (GTA), graduate teaching associates (GTAssoc), graduate assistants (GA), and graduate research assistants (GRA) with appointments on a one-fourth time basis or higher, are entitled to a waiver of maintenance fees and tuition for the period of appointment in accordance with university policy. These appointments also include a benefit of health insurance for the student.

A very limited number of graduate teaching assistantships are available from our department in the Physical Education Activity Program (PEAP), assisting with research and/or teaching undergraduate lab sections. The application for these positions is included in the online graduate school application. Faculty members will select students for these positions typically between April and June for the upcoming academic year. Very few master’s students are funded through the department. However, there are many sources of funding and assistantships elsewhere on campus, as detailed below. We highly recommend that prospective students start early looking for funding sources.

While there is no central point of contact for information on GA positions, some positions are filled periodically in college advising centers, admissions offices, residence halls, athletics, recreational sports, and other service offices. These areas/departments should be contacted directly. When announced, openings for the assistantships may be found on the Graduate School’s website.

Here are some additional helpful websites regarding costs and funding:

Financial Aid

Graduate Fellowships
Scholarships
Other Funding Sources

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.